Review Summary: An ambitious and passionate debut from one of Metalcores greats.
At the time of this recording Misery Signals was
Misery Signals a band, known for being original, and constantly breaking boundaries in the Metalcore genre, released a little known Self-Titled EP in 2003.This EP helped them to get on Ferret Records and discover their sound later shown on Of Malice and The Magnum Heart.
This EP was made shortly after the break up of 7 Angels 7 Plagues and Compromise. Along with the death of two of Jesses band mates, and close friends.
While being only 6 songs long, this EP does more in its short run time, than some bands do on full-length albums.
What it contains is, a mixture of elements of past bands, and future releases in their career.Containing elements of 7 Angels 7 Plagues while showcasing the soft ambient parts, and spoken word sections that Of Malice and The Magnum Heart is full of.
Opening up with the fan favorite The Year Summer Ended In June(which was later re-recorded for their 1st full length.)This track sets the mood for the rest of the EP.It being the perfect blend of ambient guitar leads,intricate drumming and passionate vocals.If you have heard the mastered version on Of Malice and The Magnum
Heart, then you know exactly what to expect here.
The only differences being that the "gang vocals" are gone, and more interesting the name "Jordo" is left out of the
line "I hope you know i tried to find those pictures Jordo."It is unknown why this is so.
Lie Captive bursts through your speakers with pounding drums,heavy riffing, and scathing heart-felt vocals.This is by far one of the heaviest songs Misery Signals have ever recorded.The heaviness does not let up on this song, it being immensely fast passed, while containing lyrics of regret and remorse.It has the typical Misery Signals spoken word section, and ends with a well thought out breakdown.This song contains some of the better lyrics of the album with lines such as "every page,every wasted hour,will be set to flame."This song could have very easily passed as a 7 Angels 7 Plagues song along with Echoes:Mark The Path.
Like Yesterday seems, as if it's going to follow in Lie Captives foot steps. By just pounding out your ear drums.This is however, until it reaches the 2 minute mark. Stu and Ryans beautiful ambient guitar riffs take the floor.Proving that they will not stay in 7 Angels 7 Plagues shadow, and will create a slightly more ambient yet heavier band.This song ends with another complex breakdown, which features Jesse screaming the words "I will stay never betray!" Its hard to find a Metalcore band these days, full of such passion and determination.
The next song Dream Atlantic is the highlight of the EP.It just so happens to be my all time favorite Metalcore song. It contains one of the most passionate spoken word sections i've ever heard.It's in this part that you can actually feel the pain, and hurt Jesse went though.
Soon everything stops, but the guitar. Setting one of the calmest ambiences on the disk,it effortlessly changes the mood.For a second or two you forget that your listening to Metalcore.Futhering these thoughts Jesse calmly calls out "I'll trace your hands in mine, so that your always with me,and i'll trace your hands in mine, so that you'll always stay, with me."These words are said with such determination, and conviction, that it paints a picture in the listeners head. Of Jesse pressing his hands up to anothers(perhaps a female) while saying said line. This is repeated a couple of times becoming more, and more urgent each time. Before Jesse finally bursts out with an angst filled scream of "I love you,I miss you!" which pierce not only the listeners ear drums, but their hearts.
A jaw dropping breakdown, played over Jesses screaming "You left me" keeps the energy up, before the climactic ending. In which Jesse screams the the line "I will never forget you!" over a low tuned riff.
Its at this point in the EP where it is unknown whether Jesse is going to continue screaming or just start weeping.That is passion.
The next 2 songs are actually 1 long song, both containing the title Echoes.The first being Echoes: Mark The Path.The 7 Angels 7 Plagues influence, is quite heavy in this song. As it like Lie Captive is extremely fast paced.With pounding drums, and fast technical leads.The heaviness never really lets up, and it just sort of fades into the last song, Echoes:Blessing Or Curse.
This song appears to be the opposite of Mark The Path, as it opens up with some nice soft ambient leads, while Branden really shines here, displaying some of his amazing drum patterns.At around the 1:40 mark it shifts to just Stu and Ryan playing a nice calming lead.It's not too long yet not too short. It's just long enough to get caught up in.
Then almost out of nowhere Jesse,Branden, and Kyle snap you back to
reality for the climactic ending in which Jesse screams the thought provoking line "Will you choose to be something or will you choose to be nothing?"over an uplifting
lead, and yet another one of Brandens amazing drum patterns.
It's at this point, that you get up, walk to the cd player, and press play.Just so you can be sucked into the powerful, angst fiiled, 20 minute world Misery Signals have created again.Few EPs that I know of can accomplish this.
Not all is great though as I have 2 complaints with this EP.Although they are minor and doesnt really distract from the experience as a whole.
First off the Bass. Being a Metalcore cd it is virtually inaudible, which is quite unfortunate. Kyle really plays some solid, interesting, bass lines.
The other being the production,i understand this is an EP but some things, namely the Bass, and at times some of the drumming, is lost in the mix.At times, the vocals feel over whelming. Which based on the listener, can be a good or a bad thing.
A problem that some may have with this EP, is Jesses vocals. As they are not double tracked as they are on Of Malice and The Magnum Heart.I for one prefer this as it helps gives the EP a much more natural, unpolished feel.
Another problem some may have is the lyrics.Some of the lyrics, arent too different, from something you would find on most other Metalcore cds, and may come off as cliche.
However they are delivered so passionately, and with so much emotion that it can be over looked.Lyrics about taking down the government or killing someone just simply would not fit here.
In conclusion this EP does exactly what it is supposed to do. It's an appetizer which gives you a taste, that leaves you begging for the full course offering.
Which luckily came in the form of a very scrumptious meal known as Of Malice and The Magnum Heart.
This EP helped them to not only get off their feet, but also helped to give them relief from the atrocity, which ironically helped form this ambitious,original band.
Helped get them signed to a major label
Nearly Inaudible Bass
Must Hear Tracks
Echoes:Blessing Or Curse
This EP is Dedicated to the Memory of Jordan Wodehouse & Daniel Langlois who were killed by a drunk driver in Alabama while on tour with Jesses previous band Compromise.